Friday, March 28, 2008
This is a first, I have gotten access and found a few of Bruce Pearl's most secretive plays. He used these a lot last night so they may be out, but still to have them on paper is a thing of beauty.
Uncontested Lay Up Play
The Vols ran this play to perfection often last night. First the man guarding the ball has to get burnt. In fact sometimes you don't even need some one guarding the ball. Then next step is for every other defender to not get in the way of the ball handler. This could either be done by simply not moving, or waving half assedly at the ball, or you could even pretend to not see the ball handler. The final step is to watch the player hopefully make a wide open dunk or layup. Typically this play works 95% of the time.
The Easy Pass for a Layup
Another one of Bruce Pearl's ingenious plays. The way this works is that first the man covering the ball has to get burnt. It's a consistent theme in Pearl's plays but an essential one. The next step is for the man closest to the basket to shift off of his man for some help defense. The final step involves the rest of the defense remaining stationary and staring at the wide open man who eventually receives the pass for a wide open layup. There are other variations of this play which include not paying attention to your man on a back door screen and not fully stepping over for help defense but enough to leave your man wide open. Both are equally as effect as the original play.
The Reckless Drive to the Hoop
This play was run a lot in the 2nd half. It's pretty simple, bring the ball up the court. The first person who gets the ball past half court drives directly into the lane and throws up a wild shot. The key to this play is spacing. The Vols must make sure that on the reckless drive to the hoop that atleast 3 of the Vols if not all 4 other players are behind the 3 point line to make sure they do not get the offensive rebound. If run to perfection the play also calls for driving directly at their center who can force the shot to be even more awkward. This play also runs best if on a consistent basis. If run 4 or 5 straight possession than 60% of the time it works all the time.
The Three With a Hand in Your Face
Another terrific play is the wild three with a hand in your face. Open threes are for pussies. The three with someone covering you is essential. Now there are a few important pieces that make this play work. First all other Vols should not be in any position to gather an offensive rebound. All three opponent big men must be in perfect box out position. If run to perfection the three with a hand in your face will come from an athlete that is taller and more athletic than the shooter and preferably a high jumper. This gives the defender ample chance to block the shot which insures 100% effectiveness of the play.
I apologize for not being able to get all of Tennessee's excellent plays. I could only get my hands on four of them, but they certainly show the genius of Bruce Pearl.